Be Careful With LinkedIn’s Profile Organizer Trial

I’ve written before about LinkedIn’s Good, Better, Best account philosophy- the recent  introduction of the Profile Organizer feature is causing quite a buzz – good for them;-)

And I hate to be a buzz-kill, but think about your intentions before you start down that road…

Profile Organizer is an interesting addition

The concept is one that you and I have both been looking for – help me sort, comment on, and get more out of the profiles that I find on the system.  So yes, there will be some individuals that definitely want to use this feature.

30 day trial

And you can absolutely use the feature for 30 days – starting when you first ask the system to put a profile into the organizer.

I don’t think you even have to offer a credit card to do so.

Long term account options

And – as I wrote last summer – there are times when you want to pay for LinkedIn service – but you may not be interested in paying for the service yet – with the smallest amount being $24.95 a month…

After your 30 days are up, to continue with the service, you’ll need to upgrade to the business account.  (On the plus side, you’ll also gain all of the other features available to premium accounts)

Terms and conditions

Let’s have a look at them:

By participating in this free trial (“Trial”) of the Profile Organizer features (“Features”), you agree to be bound by our Terms of Use and the following terms (“Trial Terms”), provided that in the event of a conflict the Trial Terms shall govern. The Trial period will be for thirty (30) days from the date you activate the Trial. At the end of the thirty day period, you will no longer have access to any data you entered into your Profile Organizer and any organization of such data you made using the Features will be lost unless you upgrade to a premium account prior to the expiration of the Trial period. LinkedIn may terminate the Trial at any time by giving written notice to you. LinkedIn reserves the right to make any modifications to the Features.

The “big deal” being that unless you are prepared to sign up for the premium service, your efforts at organizing profiles goes “poof” at the end of 30 days.

So – it’s enough time to determine if you want to use the profile organizer, but don’t invest a lot of time organizing with it unless you plan on spending money on a business account.

I’d hate to hear you say “I put six hours into setting things up and now I have to pay to access that!”

Premium accounts

I’d like to revisit this concept – earlier in the week an event attendee appeared quite unhappy with his decision to get a premium account – he wanted to get in touch with people through InMail (as the LinkedIn offer goes).  He didn’t realize that he only had access to 3 per month.

My response was perhaps abrupt – but accurate.

The use of InMail is entirely optional.  Any user can ask for introductions to re-connect with people they know, search outside the LinkedIn site for contact information, or make phone calls to get an email address so that they can reach out.

If a premium membership is not worth the expense, go ahead and cancel it. (Contact LinkedIn directly please – I have nothing to do with the operation of the company and web site called LinkedIn – I just know how to educate people on using it more effectively;-)

Avoiding an unpleasant experience

And so even if LinkedIn has added a nice new feature, I’m worried that people will try it out without realizing the consequences.

If they get “hooked” they’ll either end up feeling short-changed because it went away after 30 days, or they’ll feel strong-armed into upgrading.

And both of those situations are likely to cause them to publicize their unhappiness.

I told you so

So – I don’t want to be saying this in November!

Go ahead and try it out, but know that you’ll have to either give it up or pay for it at the end of the month!-)

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock


  1. Hi Steve,

    I have to admit that the “Software as a Service” (Saas) that Microsoft and the other market leaders are trying to impose on the consumer is starting to become mainstream.

    LinkedIn giving access to a feature that will stop working after 30 days unless you are willing to pay for the service is something we will see happen more often.

    Just like the concept to buy a BlackBerry or iPhone with no contract = too expensive for most people so they sign up for a 3 years contract thinking they will get the phone for free. We all know that after the 18th month one ends up paying the $400 it would have cost to buy it without a contract!

    LinkedIn is no way different and I find the annoying part to be that you have to buy ALL additional features instead of picking what you like for a smaller fee just most people do on the Apple App Store :)

    Good Luck

  2. I did opt for the free trial, and you’re right that you don’t have to give out credit card information to start the free trial.

    But I didn’t end up using it that much, so I won’t be disappointed when the few contacts I imported suddently disspear soon.

    I don’t see the point of paying for something that you could organize yourself in a file somewhere, or even in your bookmarks in a dedicated folder. Of course, other people might have a lot more need for this feature, so it might be worth it for them to pay for it.

  3. When you pay to upgrade your account are you tied in to a 12 month contract or is it a monthly contract? I need to InMail a few people this month but won’t need to do this every month.

  4. SixoNine,

    I have heard that canceling an upgraded account is not the easiest of things. (sorry, no direct experience here)

    I wouldn’t expect to turn this on and off like you might be thinking.


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